Those with concerns about helicopter noise in the local area now have a new outlet to provide feedback.
A new helicopter-complaint pilot program was announced June 24 by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) in collaboration with the Helicopter Association International and Eastern Regional Helicopter Council.
Residents will be able to submit noise concerns online at https://www.planenoise.com/dcmetro/, or by voicemail at (877) 209-3200.
“Residents are encouraged to provide as much information as possible when submitting a complaint,” Beyer’s office said in a statement. “Using available flight-track data, the system will accurately identify likely aircraft generating concerns and all associated data to help mitigate helicopter noise in our area.”
The system is the culmination of several years’ worth of effort by Beyer to mitigate helicopter noise in Northern Virginia. Last July, the Defense Department released a report commissioned by Beyer, which included, among other items, a recommendation to receive, track and analyze helicopter noise complaints in the region to identify potential trends, problem areas and adjustments.
A similar study by the Government Accountability Office sought by Beyer recommended a similar noise-complaint tool.
“While I certainly understand helicopter activity is an essential part of law-enforcement, military and medical operations, I also believe that we should identify strategies to mitigate the negative impacts that so many people experience on a day-to-day basis,” Beyer said in a statement.
Data from the pilot program is scheduled for evaluation around Labor Day.